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Moonlight 05-06-2005 03:25 PM

It is a Cruel World......
It certainly looks that way sometimes. We have a pond in our front yard and several Woodducks and Mallards are nesting there and the Mothers and there young are making a living by picking up the seeds dropped by the Red Wing Blackbirds and Stellar Jays from our feeders that we keep filling everyday.
There has been a River Otter hanging out here in the pond off and on catching the occasional Bass and other denizens of the pond that he can come up with. This morning there was a great and loud disturbance in the yard and I stood in the window gazing out to see all the various Hens running madly around trying to get there ducklings to dry ground and safety. They collectively had the Otter pegged as a dangerous intruder and were taking no chances.
It appears that the little Woodducks were responsive to there Mothers pleadings and got safely to shore and well upland of the pond, the Mallards were not as cautious. The Otter got too close to the flock this got the Hen agitated and she made a charge at the Otter to distract him from her chicks the Otter wasn't intimidadted and death was quick! The eleven young Mallards are only about 10 days old and will be intresting to observe how they make out wih all the other critters about and no adult supervision.

new2fly 05-06-2005 07:17 PM

mother nature does have a cruel side to it

pescaphile 05-06-2005 07:19 PM

Those otters are nasty big weasels! Not always playing and sliding down banks on their bellies enjoying themselves. I almost stepped on one this winter who had just taken a gull that had come to close to his winter lair under a dock here on the estuary. He was swimming with this bloody mess and I don't know who got scared more when my foot came over the top of him when I stepped into the skiff.

I think you heard about the ADFG study where some high percentage (really high! - but can't recall numbers) of their transimitters from steelhead they had tagged ended up 3 or 4 otters dens! One of them floated by me a few weeks ago while I was fishing just hissing at me. Sheesh! Everyone does that this year!

I suspect those eleven Mallard ducklings wont fare very long with a big weasel there. And the wood duck family may have an lethal neighbor to contend with if he decides that pond is a good place to dine and stays around.

Moonlight 05-06-2005 07:38 PM

Hey Pescaphile
This Otter has been here for at least eight months and has been so far content at helping himself to the "Spiny Rays" left over from Johnny Appleseed, and we have been applauding his efforts. I was a little suprised that he took a Duck we have been talking about "if" such a thing happens! Well Pesca all we had to do was ask you and we would have a first hand report.
When Bud and I trapped the darn things Otters) up in SE Alaska we never saw any evidence of them feeding on birds I was suprised that they do, Heck I was certain that Humpbacks ate Herring even when carrer Bios assured me that they didn't, now its well known that Humpbacks eat herring by the Ton. I'll bet you even remember the time when we were directed by Fishery Professionals to clean the "Woody Debris" from streams. :rolleyes:
Still working on a soloution to getting up your way for the Marilyn's emerger hatch this month!!!!!
You know for living in Paradise you are seemingly having alot of challenges this last 12 month period.

chromer 05-07-2005 07:02 AM

Seems cruel I agree but if it happens naturally it's supposed to be that way. What we humans do (as a whole) are much more cruel if you think about it.

juro 05-07-2005 07:09 AM

Moonlight -

Quick get into their line of sight... you know what they say about ducklings - you might "become their mother" :)

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